Sunday, February 23, 2014

Victory Point Game's Jena 20

Last night we began playing our first game of Jena 20 in Victory Point Game's Napoleonic 20 series of small, lighter wargames. Each game has about 20 counters. I bought four of them from a fellow on TMP, getting a fantastic deal. I then gave them to Jeremy for Christmas. He is a newbie when it comes to wargaming. With only several pages of rules, which are well-organized and clearly written for the most part, the game is a great introduction to the hobby.It plays smoothly and fast. We like the random event cards as well. If you want to check some good reviews of the game, see the Jena 20 section at Boardgame Geek.

The photo below is where we were at the end of the second turn. I'm playing Prussians, which always seem to be my go-to Napoleonic army. Jeremy is playing French. Right now, not much has happened. Jeremy decided to activate his Imperial Guard, moving them up to hold Jena. A bold move. Hey, why not commit the Guard right away? Of course, he took the Army Morale hit for doing so. But he felt he had enough morale he could burn the point. (He was right.)

Holding Jena with the Guard seemed like a good move, until a couple turns later when I surrounded the city with all my weakling Prussian units and a Reserve unit, and then took the city, pushing back the Guard. Ouch! Sadly, my focus on Jena has left me weaker to the North. We will finish the game later today, starting on the morning of Day 2, but now I wonder if I made a mistake. The French reinforcements are arriving. I will need a bit of luck and will have to recover some Army Morale to win. The player whose Army Morale reaches 0 loses.

Bottom line: If you have an interest in grand scale Napoleonic gaming but don't want to devote a lifetime to learning and playing a wargame, then Jena 20 fits the bill. Once you learn the rules for one Napoleonic 20 game, you learn the basics for all of them. If you're a hardcore wargamer, then it might be a bit too light for your tastes.

1 comment:

  1. Well, life took over quickly and we never finished the game. We're going to try again as soon as possible.